View Full Version : Pool on ESPN

10-03-2002, 07:15 AM
I set my VCR since I would be at work when it aired.
Got home went stright to the TV only to find an hour
of the A's vs. Twins. There was a little message at the
bottom of the screen saying "pro billiards will air after
this presentation". I kept checking back but I don't think
it ever came on. You would think I would learn since
this has happened to me about 5 times in the last few months.

I assume this is happening nationaly and not just
regionaly. Does this piss anybody else off?
Or am I expecting too much from a national network.


Rich R.
10-03-2002, 07:28 AM
I have emailed them many times, concerning my displeasure when they do not follow their own posted schedule. They do not respond, but I keep complaining. I recommend that you do the same.
Rich R.

10-03-2002, 07:28 AM

They've been doing this for YEARS. Yes, it irritates and inconveniences LOTS of viewers!

A. Alekhine

10-03-2002, 07:45 AM
Sure pissed me off. I too had set up to record it. Had a crummy couple of days and was looking forward to kicking back and watching some pool. Not only did they pre-empt it for baseball, but then they only showed that game for about a 1/2 hour, then went to NFL tonight (at least that's what I got). At that point the little message simply said that "Pro Billiards will not be shown". ESPN seems to treat pool like filler, only to be used if nothing else is available. They'll dump it in favor of anything. I think one time they even put a dog show on in place of pool. I can't get ESPN2 or pay-per-view (I live in a smaller town and my cable company sucks) so I don't get many opportunities to see pool on TV.
BTW, looks like one of the WPBA broadcasts scheduled for tonight on ESPN2 has been dumped and the other pushed back for college football. Might want to look into that if anybody was planning on watching it.

10-03-2002, 07:50 AM
do ya'll really expect them to cut off a MLB playoff game to show a pool match that was taped months ago. the only reason they show pool is for filling empty slots they have when they do their programming schedule.

you think you are pissed. imagine how 90% of american males would have felt if they cut off the baseball game before it was over.

all i can say is....THE HEIDI BOWL!

only old-school football fans will understand that.

Rich R.
10-03-2002, 08:07 AM
I'm old enough to remember "Heidi" and I don't expect ESPN to cut off a MLB playoff game. All I ask is, if they don't plan on airing a show, don't schedule it.
This garbage happens to events other than pool. ESPN/ESPN2 does not follow the schedule that they make. They expect the viewers to leave their channels on 24/7 waiting for the event you want to see.
Rich R.

10-03-2002, 08:19 AM
Heidi was kind of different. It's not like they just found out last night at 4:00 PM that they had a playoff game to broadcast. I wouldn't expect them to cut off a game in progress, much less a playoff game. Besides, as I said, they had no problem cutting it off for NFL Tonight. To not offer any kind of re-broadcast time/date at all just kind of sucks. If they don't actually want to use it as a schduled show, then don't put it in the schedule and save us the aggravation. Had no shortage of pre-recorded ice skating or cheerleading/dance competition last night though. <ack>

10-03-2002, 09:21 AM
ESPN has hacked me off too many times to count. But.....

The MLB playoff games are not scheduled firmly until after the regular season is over. When we went to playoffs and World Series here in 1990 we didn't know the game times until 1 or 2 days in advance.

I was going to tape WPBA at 9:00 Monday but I checked the digital cable schedule before I left the house and saw that it was changed to 11:00 so I was able to tape it.

Like you guys I have emailed ESPN and I've gotten back a form letter "Thanks for your input blah blah blah" /ccboard/images/icons/laugh.gif

10-03-2002, 11:19 AM
No I really don't expect them to cut off the play off game,
but that is exactly what they did. After about 1 1/2 hours
of the game the moved it to the Family Channel then aired
PTI and followed it 2 episodes of Sports center.
So if they can do that why not start the game on the Family Channel
then they wouldn't have to mess with ESPN!
I would bet that some areas don't get the Family Channel
which I am sure they were pissed at ESPN for cutting the
I simply would like them to pick a schedule and stick to it.
I check the listings on Sunday for that week. How much can
really change?

Chris -- Still a big baseball fan

Doomsday Machine
10-03-2002, 01:27 PM
For those too young to remember, a brief explanation of what happened at the infamous "Heidi Game":

Nov. 17, 1968 National broadcast NBC (only game on)
Oakland Raiders & NY Jets, Jets kick field goal for a lead of 32-29 with 1:05 left to play. NBC decides to switch to the scheduled broadcast of "Heidi" at 7:00 p.m. Oakland scores on 43 yard TD pass with 45 seconds left to go ahead 36-32 and Oakland recovers a fumble on the kickoff and runs it is to win 43-32 !! Obviously this was the last time that NBC pulled the plug on a live NFL game that had a chance to be decided in the last minute. So a game they thought was won by the Jets at 32-29 turned into a win by Oakland by 43-32.

10-03-2002, 07:27 PM
Hey, Mr. Alekhine, I didn't know you were still alive! Tell me, how did you lose that match in '35 to Euwe? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Regarding ESPN, they treated pool better back in the mid to late 1980s, when "The Color of Money" was fresh in the public's mind. I still have Last Call for Nine-Ball, 1986, and The Brunswick World Open, 1989, on tape. Last Call was billed as the "most expensive purse in the history of pool" with a payout of $40,000 for first place, no mean sum at that time or even now. And the broadcasts? They were always shown when listed, even the repeats if I remember correctly.

But let's admit it, pool is never going to get the publicity or respect it used to get in the 1920s and 1930s, when Greenleaf rivaled Ruth for popularity in the sports section, or so I've read. I think the reason for this is brilliantly explained in Ned Polsky's classic sociological work "Hustler's, Beats, and Others" (now out-of-print, it figures). It's just never going to be the same.

You have to admit that pool nowadays is looked at as a recreational game rather than a sport by the general public and most casual players, who are out on the town for some stick with their buds or their girl, and that's often on Bar-boxes, which I, as a traditionalist, have a hard time taking seriously. And if you don't believe pool is treated as a game, go to your local bookstore and see where the billiard books are shelved.

Sadly, Miss Lee's recent treatment on Letterman confirms this perception and reduces her trick shots to the equivalent of Stupid Pet Tricks. Hell, even the pets got more air time. How demeaning. Now, pick up a book and read about when Ralph Greenleaf was the main attraction on the Vaudeville stage, doing trick shots accompanied by his wife, Princess Nai Tai Tai, for eager throngs in the 1920s. Pool has come a long way, baby.

So don't blame ESPN, it's just the way the changes in the culture have inevitably changed pool in the modern age. So it goes.

Traditional Masai saying: "Abandon tradition, impoverish a people."
... and may I add: "Embrace change, rot in modernity."


Scott Lee
10-03-2002, 08:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: fightingbob:</font><hr> I think the reason for this is brilliantly explained in Ned Polsky's classic sociological work "Hustler's, Beats, and Others" (now out-of-print, it figures).

Bob <hr></blockquote>

Bob...Just so you know, Ned Polsky's book was re-printed just recently (within the last year), with an updated edition. It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and most any bookstore (on order). Classic book!

Scott Lee

10-03-2002, 09:38 PM
True, Scott, but the new edition was published in March 1998 and Amazon shows it is out of print again. Even Mueller Recreational Products, who lists it in their 2002 catalog, no longer have a link to it on their website. It is still available from some new and used booksellers through Amazon, if anyone is interested ( <a target="_blank" href=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/offering/list/-/1558214046/all/ref=dp_bb_a/002-0655576-5436012>http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/offering/list/-/1558214046/all/ref=dp_bb_a/002-0655576-5436012</a> ).

Good books disappear all too quickly, but bad books are like herpes; they never go away.

Best regards,

10-03-2002, 11:38 PM
You can get a copy from Ned. I saw him not that long ago and he signed and gave me a copy.

10-04-2002, 12:31 AM
When was that? I remember reading a tribute in Billiards Digest written by Robert Byrne upon Mr. Polsky's death, which was sometime in 2000. Look at this tribute http://www.continentalbooks.com/notes13a.html near the bottom of the page.


10-04-2002, 12:50 AM
Ned Polsky (1928-2000)

Ned Polsky, who died suddenly and unexpectedly this past June 13, is best known and will no doubt be remembered by sociologists for his ventures into the field of deviance. The five essays that make up his book Hustlers, Beats and Others, recently republished in an updated edition by Lyons Press, are both sociological and literary masterpieces indicative of the author's ambitions and perspectives

Ned himself was a deviant in many ways. He surely did not fit into the conventional mold of a sociologist, which is exactly what endeared him to his many friends inside and outside our discipline. He loved books, of which he was an avid collector, had a passion for literature and the arts, had tried his hand at writing a serious novel, played pool well enough to have participated in several tournaments and to have qualified as a referee in the International 3-Cushion Billiards Tournament in Las Vegas in 1999, a sign of recognition he valued as much as praise from his sociological colleagues. He was a high-brow but hardly a prig. One conversed easily with him on just about any subject. Once he surprised me with his encyclopedic knowledge of wild mushrooms, of which he had not previously spoken.

Not surprisingly, Ned roved almost as widely in his professional activities as in his conversations. Having graduated from the Bronx High School of Science at the tender age of 16, he studied linguistics and literature at the University of Wisconsin, followed by graduate study in sociology at the University of Chicago, which he left without a degree. During his career, he was in and out of publishing, was the editor of several prestigious magazines, became professor at SUNY-Stony Brook and, after retiring, opened and ultimately sold an antiquarian book business specializing in biographies.

Although intellectually a cosmopolitan, Ned joined the world only as it suited him. He learned to drive rather late in life and, as far as I know, never made any serious attempt to exploit the capabilities of the computer for his sociological work. Information on events, persons, and works in all of the humanities, a mammoth project on which he had been working -- on and off -- for over thirty years, was kept on literally tens of thousands of 8 by 11 file cards. These files, so he hoped, would ultimately help scholars to develop and check interesting propositions about peaks and troughs of cultural achievement. One cannot help but wonder what will happen to the material he so painstakingly put together.

Most appreciated by those who knew him best was his cool judgment on just about everything and his warm personality. His often sharp criticisms were typically in a soft voice and he was always generous with help and advice. Above all, he was a friend on whose loyalty one could count when things got rough. He is survived by his adored and talented daughter Claudia, a very young granddaughter, both of Berkeley, California, and his companion, Sarah White, a recently retired college language teacher, of New York. A memorial was held for him on October 27 at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City.

Kurt Lang, University of Washington (emeritus)

10-04-2002, 01:24 AM
Wow, I last saw him at a billiard tournament He liked to play 3-C and often attended tournaments. He did not play that bad. but I can't believe it was that long ago. I just got out the book and he did not date it. I just did a google search and found his obituary. He died on June 13, 2000. I guess it has been more then two years. I wonder what happened to the books, he had a car load of them and I don't see them flying off the shelves.

10-04-2002, 04:48 AM
I don't consider it a legitimate loss. The swine blew poisoned cigar smoke at me; and I was drunk--through no fault of my own.